Killer Instinct is testing ranked crossplay between Steam, Windows Store, and Xbox editions of the game for the first time

Killer Instinct
(Image credit: Iron Galaxy)

What you need to know

  • Killer Instinct was given a refresher with the release of an Anniversary Edition last November.
  • Iron Galaxy has announced a test window for ranked crossplay that allows players on Xbox, Windows Store, and Steam versions of the game to play together in ranked playlists for the first time.
  • The ability to block crossplay will be disabled during the testing window, and launching Ranked matches will opt in for participating in crossplay testing.
  • The testing window begins Friday, February 9 at 12 PM PST/3 PM EST and will end Monday, February 12 at 8 AM PST/11 AM EST.

It's finally time to pit your Killer Instinct skills against foes on different platforms. Iron Galaxy has shared plans to introduce ranked crossplay to Killer Instinct during a testing window this upcoming weekend. The test will begin on Friday, February 9 at 12 PM PST/3 PM EST and will run until Monday, February 12 at 8 AM PST/11 AM EST. There are no special requirements to participate in the crossplay test, as joining a Ranked match will be considered your willingness to opt-in. Options to disable crossplay are being disabled for the duration of the testing window.

Killer Instinct got a fresh lease on life following the November 2023 release of the Anniversary Edition. While plenty of changes and improvements were made at that time, one often-requested feature was still missing. Ranked crossplay has long been a frequent request for the Killer Instinct community. For the first time, players on Xbox, the Windows Store, and Steam editions of the game will be able to battle out for the top spot on their respective leaderboards. Iron Galaxy has stated that the Ranked Crossplay Test will be used as a barometer to determine whether the feature will come to the game in the future. Player feedback will be essential.

The crossplay opportunity is still only in testing, so there are some important notes to consider, according to Iron Galaxy. Leaderboards for Xbox/Windows and Steam versions of the game will remain separate, with the team dubbing this decision as "a necessary compromise" for Ranked crossplay to be viable. Players on the Xbox or Windows edition who play a ranked match against an opponent on Steam and lose will see their Xbox leaderboard rank drop, while the Steam player will see their Steam leaderboard rank improve following the match.

Ranked players will not have the option to block cross-network play during the testing window. Choosing to play a ranked playlist is considered as 'opting in' to the playtest. However, other unranked modes will be unaffected by this change. According to Iron Galaxy, Xbox players should also not be concerned about playing against Steam and Windows PC users, as those two versions of the game require all players to pass a performance test before joining an online match. The performance test ensures that participants in the match are reaching 60 FPS so that the match feels fair for both parties. 

Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition is available on Steam, Xbox, and the Windows store and is also included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.